The Secret Formula to Romance
Ask any non-romance reader why they don’t read romance and inevitably one thing will pop up. It is all formula writing.
No, seriously, stop laughing about that. As deluded as they are, that is what they think. Rather than give examples of other genres that are also formulaic, let’s pick that belief apart.
Hmm, scratch that. I agree with them. E=MC2 is the perfect formula for a romance novel. All romance books are formulaic. Period. Blog done. Time to read a book.
What? Oh, okay, lemme ‘splain. No, will take too long. Lemme sum up.
By definition, romance novels deal with love and have a happy ending, whether HEA(happily ever after) or HFN(happy-enough-for-now). It’s all that in-the-middle goop that mucks things up. It is what also spawns literally HUNDREDS of stories a month-and those are only the ones that are published. For every one published, something like twenty are rejected. With so many people writing those stories and so many people buying them, no wonder idiots outsiders believe there is a fill in the dots program to make a romance story happen.
Granted there are a few things that occur in EVERY SINGLE ROMANCE EVER. The main characters HAVE to meet or, duh, no story. There has to be some sort of attraction there. Something prevents them from riding into the sunset on page 2(this variable can be internal or external, both even). To achieve that HEA/HFN, there has to be some sort of resolution to that issue.
That’s the secret formula. Anything else goes. Same sex couples, magic hymens, dinosaurs with attitude, interspecies relations, the mother-in-law from hell, a world war, a kidney-stealing bad dudes, emo-vampires, whatever. If you can fit in the above elements in a believable and compelling manner, the formula can work. 
E= Everything or anything you could possibly imagine and the kitchen sink
MC=Main Characters
2= together
Add it up. The formula works. Huh, who knew Einstein wrote romance?
In my latest release SWEET AS SIN, there are some elements that might come as a surprise. No kidney-stealing villains or dinosaurs, though, sorry. Just a really tormented hero and a woman who won’t give up, a few cupcakes, a couple monsters and a horrifying secret. This is my E=MC2
She’s made for sin. Sin is something he knows intimately.

John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he’s driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.

Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won’t lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she’s as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?
Buy Sweet as Sin at Carina Press, AMZ, ARe, BoB or B&N
Inez Kelley is a multi-published author of various romance genres. You can visit her at her website  Follow Inez on twitter at @Inez_Kelley or on Facebook at

Friday Spotlight: Inez Kelley

Finally, it’s Friday! Years and years ago, when I worked a 9-5 job, that meant a lot more to me. Now it means the delicate and specialty laundry. All those lovely little items that require special care such as lay-flat-to-dry, hand-wash, or spot-clean only get tackled on one day. And God forbid, that red sweatshirt my daughter loves that bleeds on everything no matter how I wash it. That sucker gets washed alone!

Sometimes I have a lot of this and it makes the day last twice as long. Other times, there is only one or two items and wheeee, free time! Free time is ‘me’ time. I read or do some other task that normally gets crowded out of the daily time-crunch, like I might actually shower, shave my legs and pluck my eyebrows! Rip roarin’ fun there!

But even ten extra minutes where I am not accountable for someone or some task is a tiny breath of heaven and I grab hold of it. I never watch TV. I am a sad sad case of pop culture indifference who has never seen So You Think You Can Dance, NCIS, or any other must-see show. Why waste those precious few minutes watching TV when a whole world of books is waiting on me? My wanna-read pile is taller than I am!

Escape. That is what I want. To escape into a story and let it carry me away from the everyday grind of life, especially the laundry. I try to provide that for others with my writing. From my romantic comedy JINXED, to my fantasy-world in MYLA BY MOONLIGHT and SALOME AT SUNRISE, to the erotic side of human nature in the DIRTY LAUNDRY series, I hope I have given readers an escape.

And now, one of you gets something more! A DIRTY LAUNDRY GIFT BASKET for when you can steal some ‘me’ time for yourself. From me to you, enjoy!

Thursday Spotlight: Inez Kelley

Well, here it is Thursday and Thursday’s laundry chore is hubby’s work stuff. Lumber crayon is like wax mixed with super glue, nasty stuff that NEVER comes out but stains everything else. I deliberate wash his things separately to avoid getting that crap on everything else. Even if he doesn’t hide one of those sticks in a pocket, there is an abundance of sawdust that gets into every crease, seam and hem. You don’t want to even hear about tree sap, trust me. He’s a hard-working man and when he comes home, his clothes show it. Sweat and dust, paint and wax, tree sap and lord only knows what else cover his clothes.

He was my inspiration for Cade, the friend in book #3 of the Dirty Laundry series, COMING CLEAN. Cade and Grant have been friends since boyhood. They have no secrets from each other. Well, they do, really. Bi-sexual Cade has been in love with his best friend for years but he’d never risk losing Grant by telling him that. He’d also never tell Grant that he has certain inappropriate thoughts about Grant’s wife. Grant and his wife, Vivi, are a normal married couple. They also tell each other everything, down to their darkest sexual desires. But when Vivi brings up her fantasy of a threesome with Cade, Grant’s imagination takes off and the secret desire he has harbored for decades rears its head.

More than secrets are exposed and a lot comes out in THAT wash! It is a steamy, hot ménage that delves into the heart of what makes a man and what makes a marriage.


“Tell me the truth. Is this something you’d really like to happen? Would you really want a threesome with Cade?”

Grant and Vivi Michaelson share everything in their marriage: love, commitment—and their wildest sexual desires. But their relationship is tested when Vivi admits she wants a threesome with Grant’s old friend Cade, proposing their annual trip to the lake as the perfect opportunity to fulfill her fantasy.

All three of them are aroused by the idea. Vivi and Cade have long felt a smoldering attraction to each other…and Grant and Cade have hidden an illicit desire for decades. Going through with the ménage will test their boundaries, reveal old secrets…and maybe tear them apart. After all, there might be room for Cade in bed, but is there room for a third in their marriage?

Coming clean never felt so good….

Available from Carina Press August 30, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Inez Kelley

Me again. Today is Wednesday and that is my heaviest laundry day. (Wednesday is also called HUMP day so yeah, a little tongue-in-cheek humor there.) It’s the day I tackle the things like tee shirts, shorts, kids’ clothes and all that lovely stuff. I am forever finding little hidden gems in my twins’ pockets: a toy dinosaur, a plastic lizard, jellybeans that have melted and the ever-popular ‘pretty rocks’. No matter how carefully I check each pocket, I usually end up with a surprise in the dryer. The plastic toys I don’t mind so much. The crayons and candy I do. They melt and get all over everything and I then have to rewash half of the clean things.

Surprises are like that, you never know what the outcome will be. In book #2 of the Dirty Laundry series, TALK DIRTY TO ME, that is a dilemma Dr. Jarod Reed faces. Using his cell phone, he pretended to be someone other than himself and sweet talked – okay, dirty talked- Nora MacGregor into revealing her deepest sexual fantasies. Now he wants to live out those fantasies with her, in person. When Nora finds out her smooth-voiced dream man is an ordinary English Professor, will she cut him off?

This story is a co-write with Ginny Glass and we had a blast writing it. It is smart, steamy and designed to engage your mind as well as your libido. The prize package DIRTY LAUNDRY BASKET is geared for this second story. Inside are little items that symbolize the book. A free download of the ebook TALK DIRTY TO ME, Nancy Friday’s ‘Women On Top’, a calling card, a naughty cake of soap and a Silver Bullet all tie in nicely to the story and could be yours!


“Tell me what you want. Talk dirty to me.”

Biologist Nora MacGregor is frantic when she loses her dissertation research notes on Female Sexuality —and some very personal written fantasies. Then a sinful stranger calls with a wicked proposition: if she talks dirty to him, he’ll return her notes, page by page. “James” allows Nora to explore her deepest desires and challenges her clinical ideas about sex. But James can’t give her the loving touches she finds in her budding relationship with Dr. Jarod Reed.

Jarod seized an opportune moment to fulfill his desire for Nora by becoming the mysterious James. While the anonymous, erotic phone sessions are unforgettable, Jarod longs to tell Nora he wants more than just talk. But how can he confess his deception without it costing him the chance to make their fantasies a reality?

BUY LINKL Carina Press

Tuesday Spotlight: Inez Kelley

Welcome back! It’s Tuesday and around the Inez household, that means dirty linens. Towels, bed sheets, etc, all get washed on Tuesdays. I can’t be the only person in the world with a set day of the week to do certain things, can I? I refuse to do laundry (except emergency ‘Mama, I can’t find my jersey’ or ‘he puked!’ type laundry) on Mondays. Monday suck hard enough without adding piles of smelly clothes on top of it. So Mondays my washing machine rests. Tuesdays it is linens.

Today I also want to tell you a bit about book #1 in the Dirty Laundry series, COIN OPERATED by Ginny Glass. Ginny is a debut author and this is her first release but oh my, she has a turn of phrase that is damn near poetic. Her story centers around Bea and Eli, a very willing Submissive and a very reluctant Dom but there is not a handcuff, a whip or a paddle in sight. No, this series is about secrets. Those secret desires have kept the co-workers apart for years but no longer.

Eli is afraid of the dark sexual urges that lurk under his skin as he watches Bea. She couldn’t possibly be interested in something so ugly in him. She deserves better, sweeter, gentler than his twisted fantasies of her hands tied behind her back with silk ribbon. Little does Eli realize Bea senses his dominate streak and craves it, in every dark, delicious way. Now how can she get him to understand that one man’s kink is another woman’s craving? Well, it starts with his dirty laundry and ends with some quarters…


“What am I begging for, Eli?”

“Someone to take control. Someone to teach you new ways to scream.”

Elijah Elliot and Beatrix London’s fledgling ad agency is under siege. Not from outside competition but by Eli and Bea’s unspoken lust for each other. As their unsatisfied cravings to dominate and submit bloom into vivid daydreams, the office becomes a minefield of frustrated needs and dangerous desires. Now something’s gotta give or their partnership is going to self-destruct.

When Bea unveils a racy new light bondage ad campaign for their key client, she pushes Eli to cross the line he’s drawn between them—the one that keeps him from doing all the hot, sinful things she imagines he’s capable of…

Stop by tomorrow and don’t forget about the chance for the prize of a DIRTY LAUNDRY BASKET.

Monday Spotlight: Inez Kelley

Hi, my name is Inez Kelley and I despise dirty laundry. Well socks, underwear and towels, that kind of laundry. I don’t mind washing and folding it, but putting it away is a pain. With young twin boys, there is ALWAYS laundry. A never-ending cycle of gather, wash, dry, fold and put away. Repeat. If I had one wish in life, I would give serious consideration to a laundress. I don’t mind cooking and cleaning but laundry sucks the life right out of me.

But there is one type of dirty laundry I do love. Ginny Glass and I got together and wrote a series of erotic romance novellas using the theme DIRTY LAUNDRY, where hidden secrets and private fantasies are exposed. What comes out in the wash isn’t always pretty but it is truthful and sometimes, you discover more than you thought you would. Like that forgotten $20 in your hubby’s pants pocket, our characters discover that their deepest, dirtiest secrets can have a happy ending when revealed.

What is your secret?

What makes your body flush with heat, your eyes close in want, your hands tremble in suppressed longing?

Do you crave a spanking? Do you dream of a stranger?

Or do you fantasize about your best friend?

Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies, everyone has something to hide

Come take a spin with us, watch all our secrets come out in the wash

Steamy, sizzling secrets revealed

All summer long. Come see our


Every day this week, I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself and each book in the DIRTY LAUNDRY series and at the end, one lucky person will win a very special DIRTY LAUNDRY BASKET. This is not the type of basket that holds jam-stained shirts and sweaty socks. It is more romance-oriented and themed perfectly to match TALK DIRTY TO ME, book #2 in the series which releases today from Carina Press.

Come back and enjoy!